Meet Our Mentors – Jeyla Aranjo

Jeyla is a junior at Stanford University studying Computer Science with a specialization in Operating Systems and Cybersecurity. She meets one-on-one with young four girls who are learning to code. The youngest is 9 learning Scratch drag-and-drop coding, but Jeyla is also excellent at making Python fun too.

What do you find rewarding about teaching kids to code?

I love to code, of course! But as a student, I have certainly been helped and taught many times how exciting and interesting CS can be, and its extremely rewarding to be able to pass that on. I wish I’d been introduced to code earlier, and it makes me happy to know that Breakout Mentors students have the opportunity to really learn an interest art form in programming. I can’t wait to see where they’ll be in a year or two, and then in 5 or 10, I can only imagine the incredible things they’ll be able to do! I’m honored to be a part of that learning process.

What advice do you have for kids learning to code?

Be patient, have fun, and laugh! Often code has bugs and takes a little bit of time to fix. But the fixing is where learning happens, so laugh and shake it off when you make mistakes, and enjoy the process!

Why is it important for kids to start coding when young?

Learning to code is about a lot more than just making games and scripts. Coding teaches you how to be a good thinker and a patient worker. Programming is a dynamic and exciting glimpse into the way engineers think–and to learn at a young age helps develop strong critical thinking skills early, and those will certainly extend to other areas of interest, like math, reading, writing, and even athletic strategies!